Impaired Driving

a driver holding alcoholic bottle while driving

Impaired driving, a pervasive concern on the roads, is defined as operating a vehicle while one’s ability is compromised by alcohol, drugs, or both. This act, dangerous and often lethal, poses substantial risks to all road users. In Maryland, the scale and effects of impaired driving are particularly alarming, underscoring the necessity for profound examination and action.

Types of Impaired Driving

Impaired driving is categorized into different types based on the substance impairing the driver.

  • Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Also known as drunk driving, alcohol-impaired driving involves operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over the legal limit. The limit in many countries, including the United States, is 0.08 percent.

Alcohol affects a person’s motor skills, reaction time, and judgment. Drivers under the influence of alcohol may exhibit noticeable signs like erratic driving, failure to maintain a lane, speeding, or not using headlights at night. This is the leading cause of road accidents and fatalities.

  • Drug-Impaired Driving

This type of impaired driving includes the influence of both illegal substances, like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and legally prescribed or over-the-counter medications that can impair driving ability. It’s important to note that drugs affect different people in different ways.

Some drugs may lead to dizziness, drowsiness, slowed reaction time, or aggressive behavior, all of which can severely impact a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Due to the wide range of substances and their various effects, detecting drug-impaired driving can be more complex than detecting alcohol impairment.

  • Drowsy Driving

Drowsy driving, or driving under severe fatigue, is often less recognized but can be as dangerous as alcohol or drug impairment. Sleep deprivation can have similar effects on the body as drinking alcohol. Drowsy drivers may experience slower reaction times, decreased attention, and impaired decision-making.

This condition can be caused by lack of sleep, some medications, long work hours, or untreated sleep disorders. Despite the less obvious signs compared to alcohol or drug impairment, drowsy driving can be just as lethal.

  • Multiple Substance Impairment

It is also possible for a driver to be impaired by more than one substance at a time, which could be a combination of drugs, alcohol, and medications. This can have a multiplicative effect, exacerbating the impairments of each individual substance and dramatically increasing the risk of a crash.

Steps to Take after Impaired Driving

  • Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, if you’re involved in a crash and there are any injuries, seek medical attention immediately. Even if injuries seem minor or non-existent at the time, it’s essential to get checked out by a healthcare professional.

  • Report to Law Enforcement

Contact law enforcement to report the incident. If there’s a possibility that the other driver is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication, it’s essential to communicate this to the police.

  • Document the Incident

Gather as much information as possible. This includes the other driver’s information, witness contact details, and photos of the scene, if safe to do so. Be sure to write down what happened while it’s still fresh in your memory.

  • Consult a Lawyer

If you are the victim of an impaired driver, it might be advisable to consult with a lawyer, especially if there are serious injuries or substantial property damage. The Law Offices of Kim Parker can help protect your rights and navigate any legal proceedings. Their understanding of laws related to impaired driving incidents can be instrumental in achieving a fair outcome.

  • Report to Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the incident. Provide them with all the details and cooperate fully. They will guide you through the process of making a claim.

  • Take Steps to Heal

Whether you’re physically injured or emotionally traumatized, it’s crucial to take care of your well-being. Seek professional help if needed. Recovery can take time, and it’s important to be patient with yourself during this process.

Securing Appropriate Assistance from The Law Offices of Kim Parker

Impaired driving in Maryland, irrespective of its type, remains a significant concern with severe consequences for public safety. Despite stringent legal repercussions and ongoing public awareness campaigns, this issue endures, causing immeasurable harm to victims and their families.

Addressing impaired driving is a shared responsibility, one that calls for community commitment, heightened awareness, and consistent adherence to traffic laws. As personal injury attorneys based in Baltimore, The Law Offices of Kim Parker strive to champion the rights and assist victims through the often daunting legal process. If you ever find yourself affected by an impaired driving incident, remember to seek immediate legal help. The Law Offices of Kim Parker, as seasoned Maryland car accident lawyers, stand prepared to provide the necessary legal assistance to navigate through these challenging times.

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If you or someone you care have been treated wrongly or injured, let a knowledgeable, experienced attorney will guide you and fight for your case. Don’t miss out on the justice you deserve. Contact us today at 410-234-2621. Let’s talk about your needs and how we can help.

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